"I volunteer at Wellspring because I believe in what Wellspring is doing, because I believe it is an integral part of the journey of persons living with cancer and, most of all, because I like it."
Christie first became involved with Wellspring in 1992 when asked by a friend to become a volunteer. Christie simply indicated that she would think about it. Her friend replied “Don’t think about it too long – I have already put your name on the list!”
Christie good-naturedly agreed and found herself quickly drawn in to Wellspring’s unique atmosphere and caring community. Now, 15 years later, she is being recognized for her longstanding contribution to Wellspring.
Christie’s involvement has changed over time. After years of a regular shift on the front desk, Christie continued to find new ways to contribute -- she is now also counted amongst the team of Special Events Volunteers, Fundraising Volunteers, Community Outreach Volunteers and was a member of Wellspring’s inaugural Ethics Review Committee. She was also one of the founding members of Camp Renewal, a retreat weekend where patients and their family members could connect with nature and each other, and renew their inner spirit.
Deserving of very special mention, in 2004 Christie led a group of several committed volunteers in building a beautiful canoe that was auctioned at the Wellspring Henderson Hoedown, a major fundraising event held about every two years. This remarkable hand-crafted canoe raised over $5,000 for Wellspring programs.
But Christie wasn’t finished! Last summer, in a canoe she built herself, Christie undertook a multi-day canoe trip on the Rideau Canal system, also to raise funds for Wellspring. Christie paddled solo from Kingston to Big Rideau Lake, a distance of 80km. It took her five days of paddling and four nights of camping at lock stations along the way. She raised nearly $3,000.
This summer, Christie repeated the effort and completed a solo journey on the Rideau Canal system paddling from Big Rideau Lake to Ottawa, a distance of 120km, raising over $6000 for Wellspring.
Christie’s commitment to Wellspring is inspiring to many, and Wellspring is deeply grateful to her many years of volunteer service.